Anthony John Clarke



We are immensely proud to say that Anthony John Clarke will be headlining our Saturday evening concert, supported by his full line up.

The full band comprises:

Anthony John Clarke: Guitars and Vocals

Elizabeth van de Waal: Piano and Vocals

Steve Rothwell: Drums and Percussion

Connor Clarke: Bass/ Bouzouki/ Guitar and Uke

Anthony has played on the Island before when he supported Fairport Convention.  Recently returned from a tour of New Zealand, Anthony has a very busy schedule and we were lucky to get him after a slight mix up over dates.  Typically of Anthony, he had given me his mobile phone number at the Moira Furnace festival, so things were quickly sorted out. 

His shows are funny, challenging and extremely popular; Anthony John Clarke is one of the music scene's real gentlemen.  He is no ordinary songwriter, and the warm feeling that you experience when leaving one of his shows will stay with you forever. 

As well as headlining on the Saturday evening, he will be running a workshop on Saturday afternoon —an opportunity not to be missed!! So make sure you get to the festival in time. In his own words: “We have done quite a few workshops in the past and have a funny format which works well without deterring serious songwriters.” He will be joined by Elizabeth.

His songs include the legendary: Broken Years, The Only Life Gloria Knows, Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke, Irish Eyes, Between Midnight and Blue and the sensational Two People.  

Anthony John Clarke writes...

"All I ever wanted to be was a writer of songs.  From the minute I heard Barry Maguire singing the song 'Eve of Destruction' and held the single 'Like A Rolling Stone' by Dylan in my hand. From those beautiful Sunday evenings I would sit and watch Al Stewart, John Martyn, Claire Hamill and Christy Moore and a host of other greats grace the University Hall stage in Belfast, and from the time I spent my paper round money on a second hand Eko Ranger 6 at Smithfield Market, I was doomed.

I was doomed to that life that could so easily end in failure. The failure being that nobody may want to be with your songs. Even to this day, always searching for that lyric or that melody or that fusion of the two I stand here alone on this website thinking, “I’m still just doing ok.”

I remain an apprentice for life.  It’s compulsory and there is no escape.  In 1984 I stopped playing for a couple of months.  I was fed up and getting nowhere.  I left the guitar in the case and worked, played poker, tried squash and read the paper worrying about Thatcherism.  But there was no escape.  I was at a friend’s house one evening and he put on Jackson Browne’s album “The Pretender”.  I listened transfixed without speaking a word. He followed that with “Russians and Americans” the Al Stewart masterpiece and we finished the evening off with John Martyn’s “Solid Air” which to this day is still the greatest living collection of songs.

The prodigal son had returned. How dare I think that I could stay away from such beauty.  So whether it’s a passing fancy or a lifetime’s work one thing is for sure. Once you let a song under your skin it’s harder to remove than a tattoo.  Thanks for dropping by at this website and oh I forgot, this was supposed to be a biography.
... It is."


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This event is organised by FolkStation Limited